Archive for hearings

Issa Gets His Ass Handed To Him

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Jay Mallin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pompous, self-important and arrogant. Oh, I'm sorry. I was just musing at the picture above of Darrell Issa, the GOP scandal monger who chairs what used to be a respected position as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Now it's the House Rumor and Innuendo Committee Starring Darrell Issa.

Once again today, Issa called in a hostile witness in the IRS scandal hearings that over the past year have yielded zero instances of law breaking, bias or even bending. If anything they have served to prove in substantiated, fully vetted evidence, the fact that the IRS acted more judgmentally against liberal causes than conservative ones.

But here we are again today. Talking Points Memo:

Issa had summoned former IRS director Lois Lerner before the Congressional committee. Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment, declining to comment for the investigation, which has dragged on for months, in spite of a complete lack of evidence to indicate that conservative groups were being targeted by the tax agency.

With her simple plea of her constitutionally guaranteed privilege, Ms. Lerner took the 5th. Issa then took it on himself to bang the gavel to close the hearings, determining unilaterally that he could see no purpose in continuing.

Elijah Cummings

Whoops. Darrell done loosed the fateful lightning of Cummings terrible swift sword, shouting:

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this,” he said. “You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that and it is absolutely un-American.”

Cummings went on to say that over the course of the last year, the investigation has squandered more than $14 million and “we have found no evidence to support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups.”

And Cummings didn't stop there. He gave Chairman Issa a lashing the likes of which haven't been seen since Patsy was beaten nearly to death in 12 Years A Slave. Don't take my word for it... this is pure entertainment.

And stay to the end. You won't want to miss the punchline added by an off-camera  House member on the committee. Add this to your priceless list.

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James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, As Angry As The Birds

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pigs fly

"When pigs fly," so the expression goes. That's when something greatly anticipated will happen. Is it that time now?

It may be right around the corner, according to U.S. National Intelligence Director, James Clapper. In case the name isn't all that familiar, he's the guy who lied to Congress on whether or not the NSA was spying on all of us. Still need a little more intel on Director Clapper?

Washington Post:

"Director Clapper continues to hold his position despite lying to Congress under oath about the existence of bulk data collection programs in March 2013," the letter reads. "Asking Director Clapper, and other federal intelligence officials who misrepresented programs to Congress and the courts, to report to you on needed reforms ... is not a credible solution."

Sometimes you just don't know who you can trust. I have been a fan of the game, Angry Birds for a few years now.
AngryBirdsw392h244
I love that game. I find it's addictive. In case you haven't tried it, the app is simply you launch angry birds via slingshot to topple the structures that house the pigs. Kind of like the Tea Party launching their assaults on human rights housed within the confines of Capitol Hill.

Sadly though, whether we like it or not, Director Clapper is looking for a scapegoat for his incompetence on the job. After all, on his watch, Edward Snowden took off with millions of data bits on US spying. And Clapper doesn't want to bear the brunt of his failure and the breach on his watch, so he's tossing around a few Angry Bird bombs on his own, trying to take down the pigs around him.

His latest Angry Birds? He's livid that Edward Snowden revealed this cockamamie scheme by the NSA to perform unwarranted spying on us through a smartphone game.

So self-admitted liar Clapper has gone on the offense. Instead of copping to the infringement on our personal lives that most certainly has no justification (unless it's mandatory for all spies, foreign and domestic to play Angry Birds) the Dapper Mr. Clapper has proffered this, according to The Daily Beast:

Thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the world now knows that America’s intelligence agencies snoop on people through smartphone apps like Angry Birds. The U.S. intelligence community is now saying that this story, along with another disclosure of the U.S. “black budget,” has placed spies in grave danger.

So, the prevaricating NSA director expects us to rise up in arms and become angry with Snowden -- kind of his attempt to make us angry birds for the intelligence community. All this because some hotshot at the spy agency sold Clapper and his cohorts on a scheme to spy on us via a playful video game.

Clapper is taking this distraction from his own truncated dance with the truth quite seriously. He's sounding the "call to arms" by all the Angry Birds.

During a Senate hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asserted that the damage done by Snowden “includes putting the lives of members or assets of the intelligence community at risk as well as our armed forces, diplomats, and citizens.” He made this claim in his opening statement on behalf of the leaders of the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Counter-Terrorism Center.

I think the only one hurt by this reveal could be Rovio -- the company that made billions when producing this game. But that hasn't stopped the Director from pulling back his slingshot, loading it with an angry bird and firing it at the pigs.

Clapper provided no evidence or specifics to back up the charge in his public testimony. But a senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that two specific Snowden disclosures led to the new assessment. This official pointed to the documents published this week by the New York Times about the NSA’s efforts to hack into popular smart phone apps like Angry Birds.

So, perhaps the alarms that Clapper's sounding off are just distractions. Or even worse, he's actually telling the truth. But sadly, once you lie before Congress, it's very hard to be taken seriously -- especially when you're dealing with Angry Birds, feisty pigs and a director who looks much more like the latter and is behaving like the former.

Do we believe him?:

James Clapper

 

Or him?:

angry bird pig

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Cartoons of the Day- The GOP and Health Care

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gophc2

Steve Sack

Medieval Care

Rob Rogers

gophc1

Daryl Cagle

DARRELL ISSA: THE EARLY YEARS

Deb Milbrath

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He Said, She Said, They Said -- It's All B.S.

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did I say that

Politics is built on rumor and innuendo. Just look at the campaigns for elected office. Then, when someone finally wins, they take office and the mud doesn't stop. Like a Timex, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Now get your scorecards ready. You'll need one for this highly publicized brouhaha.

Ready?

Supposedly Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) reportedly said to President Barack Obama, "I cannot even stand to look at you," during a debt deal meeting between the president and top House Republicans. 

Okay, let's break it down with help from Ashley Alman over at Huffington Post.

1. Obama Meets With House Republicans To Discuss A Debt Deal
Obama meets with 20 House Republicans for a 90-minute meeting on Oct. 10

2. After The Meeting, Sessions Tells CNN He Clashed With The President
Following the meeting, CNN's Dana Bash asks Sessions, "Did you clash with the president? Is that fair to say?"

"I did," he responds.

3. Nabors Tells Democratic Senate Leaders What Happened In The Meeting
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors meets with Senate Democratic leaders and tells them about the supposed Sessions incident,

4. Reid Tells Senate Democrats What Happened
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Reid relays the story to his Democratic caucusand names Sessions, according to two Democratic senators.

5. Durbin Tells His Facebook Friends What Happened

6. White House Spokesman Jay Carney Throws Durbin Under The Bus
White House Spokesman Jay Carney denies that any Sessions-Obama exchange ever took place.

7. Democratic Senators Tell HuffPost That Reid Told Senators About The Alleged Sessions Incident, Undermining Carney's Denial
Two Democratic Senators confirm to HuffPost that Reid told his caucus about the insult during their Oct. 15 caucus meeting.

8. The White House Says It Was All A Big Misunderstanding
A White House official tells HuffPost the administration did, in fact, tell Reid and other Senate Democratic leaders the story about Sessions, but says there was a miscommunication.

9. Sessions Offers An Awfully Strange Denial
Sessions denies the alleged insult when speaking with reporters on Thursday, saying anyone who may have been within earshot is lying, and anyone who taped the conversation broke protocol.

Pete Sessions

So if you were close enough to hear this alleged insult, you didn't really hear it. But if you have me saying it on tape, you didn't have the right to tape me (...not saying what I evidently did say).

Well, now, there you have it. The offending statement was reported, denied, verified, miscommunication blamed, clarified, denied, verified, and finally sort of denied (at least on a technicality), but not really.

Ain't politics swell?

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Elizabeth Warren Grills Burger Restaurateur

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mcdonalds-Quarter-Pounder-with-Cheese-Extra-Value-MealsWhen it comes to a great grilling, is there anyone who does it better?

To  hear Senator Elizabeth Warren tell it, if minimum wage kept pace with the rise in productivity from 1960 until today, minimum wage would currently be $22/hr. But it's only $7.25/hr. EW enlists that aid of Arindrajit Dube, Ph.D UMass professor of economics to school restaurateur Dave Rutigliano at a senate sub-committee hearing. She demands to know what happened to the other $14.75/hr. Who's getting it? She points out quite effectively, it's not the worker. And it's not Rutigliano's sound math.

Sometimes it doesn't take a complex question to get a complex answer. Seems raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hr would only raise a McDonald's $7 meal four cents. And for that four cents, listen to Rutigliano defend how he'd have to raise the cost by much more, because he's not McDonald's. He's right. He's not. And perhaps we'd he'd be better off if he ran his business more like Mickey D's. It's amazing how many contortions people will go through to keep hard working, minimum wage workers from making livable earnings. Senator Warren makes it clear she may be buying a burger, but she's not buying this guy's bull.

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Senator McCain, You Get Paid For This SH**

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John McCain poker

Oh, John McCain. You can't win for losing. You’re a hawk in search of a war and when you finally find it, what do you do? You play games.

If you were in class, being educated by a teacher and were caught playing with an electronic device, you’d have had it confiscated and you’d be sent expelled from the class. Instead, you sit there, flip-flop on your important hawkish views, then finally vote. But based on what? A pair of sixes?

America’s future isn’t a poker game unless you make it one. We’re expecting you to make decisions about our future, and our safety. And how do you treat it? Like it’s a game. A silly game. And you’re not very good at it. You self-profess to have lost thousands in your fantasy play yesterday. I don’t think I want a man like you representing me in life and death decisions.

Whether or not US troops will be in harm’s way will be directly impacted by your vote. Syrian civilians – men, women and children – are sure to be collateral damage. Isn’t that more important than drawing to an inside straight?

Inside Straight poker hand

You owe your fellow senators, the President, the SOS and the American people an apology. You cheated us of your time and experience by disrespecting all of us with your silly poker game. Show some courage. Do what a true soldier should do. Take responsibility and accept your punishment – listening to the monotonous, droning on of the most boring man in America, John Kerry. I’ll agree his tedious tones challenge sardines not to roll up the tin lid on their cans but if we have to pay attention, so do you. You get paid very well for this. We don’t. So man up, John McCrime.

And we've had enough of your goofy expressions having been called out on your antics. If you’re not sure about what you did wrong, listen to Professor Jon Stewart as he explains:

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